Michael Munas (michaelboy) wrote,
Michael Munas

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

When an 84 year-old mother looks you in the eye and begs (in tears) for me to tell how her son was doing, how do you not feel terribly guilty because you cannot tell her he has passed? I well know it is the doctor's responsibility to do so, but all I could do was look at her and NOT say he was fine but simply keep repeating that the doctor will need to speak with her.

It always amazes me how a trauma room can be a busy hive of directed staff buzzing around with various things involving respiratory intubation, chest compressions, defibrillators and the like. The floor quickly becomes littered with gloves, equipment, medical supplies and wrappers. And then just as quickly, everything becomes inordinately still and all of this life-saving "stuff" simply lies quietly as a prolonged testament to the end of life and what was once a man. Sometimes, I'll walk in and say a goodbye, but last night I could not.

"When the dull nights are over, and the dull days also,
When the soreness of lying so much in bed is over,
When the physician; after long putting off, gives the silent and
terrible look for an answer,
When the children come hurried and weeping, and the brothers
and sister have been sent for,
When medicine stand unused on the shelf, and the camphor smell
has pervaded the rooms,
When the faithful hand of the living does not desert the hand of
the dying"
~ From: "Burial", Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
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